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Delhi docs end hunger strike after salaries released

October 29, 2020 08:25 IST

Doctors of North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC)-run hospitals who have been agitating for the last several days over their pending salaries called off their stir on Wednesday, officials said.


IMAGE: Resident Doctors' Association members of Hindu Rao Hospital during an indefinite hunger strike over non-payment of their outstanding salaries, in New Delhi, on Wednesday. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/PTI Photo

While five resident doctors of Hindu Rao Hospital had been sitting on a relay hunger strike since Friday, the senior doctors of the North Corporation-run facilities had gone on an indefinite strike on Tuesday.

Their associations had joined hands in solidarity since Tuesday.

'The strike by agitating doctors was called off as North Delhi Mayor Jai Prakash offered juice to the medics on hunger strike. Salaries of all doctors have been released, till September,' the NDMC said in a statement.

The late night decision was reached after a long meeting of representatives of the Hindu Rao Hospital Resident Doctors' Association (RDA) and Municipal Corporation Doctors' Association (MCDA) with the NDMC commissioner.

Senior doctors belonging to the MCDA had gone on casual leave en masse over their pending salaries on Monday and begun an indefinite strike on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the strike continued in day time despite appeals from North Delhi Mayor Jai Prakash to return to work as patient services were getting affected.

MCDA general secretary Maruti Sinha also said the strike has been called off.

The members of the RDA of the 900-bed hospital have been protesting for the past several days and had gone on an indefinite strike, seeking release of salaries due for the past three months.

In a late night joint statement, the Hindu Rao Hospital's RDA and MCDA, said, 'Salary of the last three months (of doctors) has been released. The administration has also agreed for timely release of salary in the future.'

'Further, the administration has agreed that various issues of hospital administration and doctors will be reviewed quarterly at the level of Additional Commissioner (Health),' it said.

So, the strike has been called off and all doctors will return to duty with immediate effect, the statement said.

Earlier in the day, services at NDMC-run hospitals were affected as doctors continued their agitation over pending salaries, despite the civic body saying a day earlier that 'all dues have been cleared'.

Residents doctors of Hindu Rao Hospital had been agitating over their pending salaries since last week of September and by turns, five of their colleagues had been sitting on a relay hunger strike for the past few days.

On Wednesday, they had also continued to protest.

The MCDA, an association of senior permanent doctors of the civic hospitals, was established in 1974, and has about 1,200 members.

It also includes doctors from hospitals run by other two municipal corporations.

About 250 doctors are under RDA of Hindu Rao Hospital, which was leading the resident doctors agitation.

Other major hospitals under the North Corporation, include Kasturba Hospital, Rajen Babu Tuberculosis Hospital, Mrs Girdhari Lal Maternity Hospital.

As these doctors did not attend to patients in day time, many patients at Hindu Rao Hospital and other facilities had to go to other hospitals.

The doctors' agitation also had also trigger a bitter blame game between the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led three corporations.

On Wednesday, the three mayors, Anamika (South Delhi), Jai Prakash (North Delhi) and Nirmal Jain (East Delhi) along with Leader of Opposition, Delhi Legislative Assembly, Ramvir Singh Bidhuri called on Lt Governor Anil Baijal to seek his intervention in averting financial crisis in the SDMC, officials said.

They also handed over a detailed letter justifying all three corporation's claim for release of funds as per recommendations of the Fifth Delhi Finance Commission, and halt implementing the devolution of funds according to Third and Fourth Delhi Finance Commissions, they said.

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